By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE 2013-2014 crawfish season is shaping up to be one of “the worst seasons in 11 years” for some Bahamian fisherman, the Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance (BCFA) president yesteday estimating the industry had yet to hit 25 per cent of its seasonal yield.
“This is turning out to be one of the worst seasons in a long time,” said Adrian LaRoda. “We’r e just not getting the product. In a season that’s eight months, this time of year we would have already seen about a third of our yield.
“Countrywide, I don’t think we have gotten to 25 per cent. It’s hard out there. the chief reason is that we’re being affected by poaching. For some fishermen this is the worst season in 11 years. We’re just not yielding the product.”
The BCFA chief added: “Poachers out there are really hurting us. We’re asking the Government to beef up on the patrols.”
Mr LaRoda expressed concern that the scarcity of crawfish/spiny lobster would drive up the price of seafood domestically.
“The domestic price of seafood is going to increase and further push the product out of the hands of the Bahamian family,” he said.
“If we could have gotten concessions on fuel, this maybe could have balanced itself out, but no one is listening to us. You don’t always want to talk gloom and doom, but you have to be real. It’s rough out there.”
Mr LaRoda’s sentiments were backed by well-known Spanish Wells fisherman, Abner Pinder. “From what I have heard, the guys haven’t done quite as good as they did last year,” he said.
“They’re all complaining about the amount of condos or traps that were tampered with before they got out there, before the season opened. None of the boats here in Spanish Wells did as good as what they did in previous years.
“They’re out now for the second part of the trip. The boats here go out three-and-a-half to four weeks. They come back two to three days, and then they go out two to three more weeks to finish one trip. There is no question that the production is down compared to previous years. A lot of it has to do with poaching.”